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Blueberry Pie - "If You're Bored Of the Planet Earth" [Bottled Whispers |Engage Time Machine |Channeled Spirits|Magick Mirror]
Jack Babalon

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Blueberry Pie [Feb. 12th, 2017|03:30 am]
Jack Babalon
The Bad Place is not one reached but arrived at without warning transposing itself over even the most mundane of destinations. The Bad Place is a geography of chemical imbalances, tempest lit, a long walk along the shores of black drowning waters lapping at your steps. You know you're not the first person to have it show up suddenly at a bar or a job or a lover's bedroom but empathy sours and even an active triage would register as nothing more than a shrug. People will reach out and a voice disguised as your own will whisper in your head that it's always the wrong ones. You will behold the world as if you were a ghost and see that life goes on not only without you but as if you had never been there at all. People laugh, people cry, fuck, dwindle, die and in between do all the wrong things at all the right times and vice versa.

But don't think you can hide from the Bad Place but not going anywhere because then it can arrive in a room full of books and music to become a prison shrinking down coffin tight. Hide is what you got to do though. At least it is if you give a fuck about anyone you know. If you're lucky you've had some experiences with a bad trip or twenty and know how to ride it out with grace, with dignity, with noble silence. If you're unlucky you take to social media.

Your best option then is to get out and not go anywhere at all. Leave the car at home, ignore the bus, resist the urge for an Uber evac, and walk. Walk, as far and as long as you can. Past when the feet hurt, past the first dozen places to buy a drink, past the places you once lived before the Bad Place found you there too. By doing so you will make the Bad Place have to keep up with you. You don't give it time to settle into the details, to render bland the little miracles, to rob the laugh or awe at some random spectacle.

Which is exactly what I did tonight.

With wireless headphones broadcasting trip hop scratches and Raga beats. With brand new Chucks with a rubber tip white as a specter's grin. With the streets of Terminus under a six week early Spring bloom so that the wind is pungent with a scent vaguely floral, vaguely sexual. With just a whiff of a drizzle on the breeze. In a grave yard that serves as a backyard to an elementary school I performed magickal solar invocations beneath a iron dusk and watched a cloud that looked like an starship sized hawk sweep over the trees ahead. I stood inches from a roaring CSX just a stone's throw away a factory that makes what it claims are the 'World's Best Pies' and feeling the roar in my ears cackled manically just for kicks. Marched through Vampire Country and blew a kiss at the tender memory of a friend most precious who toasted me as I walked by the Admiral's Grave.

Finally a skipped lunch and a pinner smoked through a hidden nature trail along Memorial drew me to Mannie's. Haven't been here since they closed and reopened. It was packed but as luck would have it there was a tiny table unoccupied and wedged over by a window. Got a big glass of water and ordered up a plate of chicken parm substituting the salad for steamed broccoli. Patiently I waited for the Bad Place to catch up but then my food came out faster than expected and Fucking A it was just what I wanted. Meat and marinara and pasta and it all drizzled with what we used to call in the Home Country - "Moose-a-rella". Ravenous as I was though I didn't wolf that Shit down. Nuh-uh, went all Zen Monk about it. Savored every fucking bite I could before the Bad Place could ruin it. Eyes closed and relishing the steam across the roof of the mouth released with each bite. Then, done with my meal, I ordered a Jameson's and broke out Neil Gaiman's Norse Myths. In the introduction he's talking about how he got into the Norse mythology the same way I did - through Jack Kirby. When it was time for my second drink I inquired about getting a slice of blueberry pie. My waitress apologized telling me they only had pecan and apple. No worries, I told her, but when she arrived with my second drink she had a big old slice of blueberry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. She explained that she found a last slice in the back.

And never before has a single slice of pie ever tasted so good.

Suddenly tired, not as if I had just walked from Fall of Rome Belvedere to Vampire Country, but as if I had been doing a 20 hour shit-shift back in boot camp. Still there was one last place I wanted to see before going home and there it was. Seaborn Avenue, a row of brick buildings across the street from a rail line and MARTA station. where I lived with Bud and Winter and Kid Stopper and his girlfriend who's name hurts too much to even write. Where I owned enough clothes to stuff in a duffel bag and a stack of books and a .22 that I never once fired. For all my troubles here, all the danger, all the drama, all the drugs the Bad Place never once found me here. Though I never felt like I was a punk rocker or a skinhead or a raver or drug-thug they made me feel as if I was family. As if my nervous silence and awkward banter was naught but a quirk. They made me feel smarter than I was, they made me feel invincible, as if invited by the coolest kids in the world to an endless party that laid beyond the responsibilities schools or jobs. When I was here I knew that no matter where I went in this city I would never be alone. I held the toughest son of a bitch while he wept here and held a gun behind my back while some frat fucks started static with him looking for a refund with a return of goods. It couldn't last forever, nothing worth a damn does, right? But a whole year of my life would I trade for one more night inside that apartment way back when.

Satisfied I summon an Uber and before the Bad Place can find me I'm already home.

Free, maybe just for tonight, maybe for a few months, maybe long enough to do a little good in the place I'm at.

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